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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 17:36 EDT

Teens: Sleep Less, Eat More

September 1, 2010

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Here’s one more reason to make sure your child is getting enough rest: Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep eat more fatty foods and snacks.

Researchers found teens who slept less than eight hours on weeknights consumed 2.2 percent more calories from fats and 3 percent fewer calories from carbs compared to teens who slept eight hours or more. They found this link was strongest among girls. 

There was also a link between sleep duration and snacking. For every one-hour increase in sleep duration, the odds of consuming a high amount of calories from snacks dropped by about 21 percent. Teens who slept less than eight hours per weeknight were more also likely to consume food early in the morning, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.

“Altered timing of eating in shorter sleepers also may be a metabolic stress that contributes to metabolic dysfunction,” Susan Redline, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was quoted as saying.

The study included 240 teens between ages 16 and 19. Eighteen percent of the participants were obese.

SOURCE: Sleep, September 1, 2010